We have joined forces with On The Brook and Hope and Aid Direct to assist in getting aid to Ukrainians displaced by the current conflict. On The Brook have offered the use of their (currently closed) cafe for receiving, sorting and packing donations. Hope and Aid Direct are driving regular convoys of humanitarian aid trucks to the region to deliver this aid. We have already managed to send 24 pallets of aid from On the Brook to Ukraine, and we are hoping to have a good, big final collection on 28th May before closing down this donation point at the end of June.
We are now accepting specific items that we know are needed (current priority items in bold). These are:
- baby food and formula
- tinned vegetables, beans and pulses
- tinned fish, pate, and luncheon meat
- flour, pasta, rice
- dried beans, chickpeas, lentils
- emergency / camping food
- chocolate or energy bars
- instant soups
- black tea, sugar
- rapeseed or sunflower oil
- sanitary pads & tampons
- toothpaste & toothbrushes
- power banks for charging phones
- NEW underwear for women, men & children
- bras (preloved accepted if washed & ‘as new’)
- soap, body wash, shampoo (including lice shampoo) & nit combs
- blankets (preferably fleecy single bed sized)
- camping mats
- sleeping bags in stuff sacks
- washing powder
Our next big donation drop at On the Brook will be from 11.00 – 15.00 on Saturday 28th May.
If you are planning to bring more than a car full, please email email@example.com so we can give you a special delivery time.
If you are able to print and display our poster (below), or share it on social media please do!
Address: On The Brook, Coombe Street, Bruton, BA10 0QP
Donations of money are vitally important too, and can be made to Hope and Aid Direct online. Hope and Aid Direct is a UK wide charity and has donation drop points across the country, more of which can be found on this map.
Please join our mailing list for updates as there will be more donation drop dates added.
We are not regularly sending aid to Calais at the moment but recommend supporting the Calais Appeal on JustGiving. This appeal is on behalf of 7 grassroots aid groups in Calais, who have lost a substantial amount of their funding as Help Refugees (now known as Choose Love) have decided to refocus their attention further afield. These are organisations providing vital services in Northern France. We have been long term supporters of several of them, and their continuation is now in question.
We are in contact with Somerset County Council’s refugee resettlement team who are leading on this and have offered assistance.
At the moment the need is for private landlords to offer self contained accommodation for rental (for at least a year or two), preferably near town centres. All types of property from one bedroom flats to multiple bedroom houses are needed. If you, or someone you know, can help with this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When we know more, we will contact those on our mailing list with a more specific idea of what is needed. If you would like to join our mailing list, please leave your details here mailing list
The regional aid warehouse in Taunton, run by RAFT (Refugee Aid from Taunton) is currently closed. This is where we have been sending the majority of donated aid in recent years. RAFT are seeking new premises and hope to reopen in due course. We are not holding weekly donation drops, but we will do so occasionally. If you would like to be kept informed then please join our mailing list.
RAISE is run entirely by volunteers, and we welcome new people who want to help. At the moment the best thing you could do is collect the items of aid listed above from your friends, neighbours and social groups and bring them to our next donation drop. We would also welcome people who can find us banana boxes for packing aid.
We may welcome people who can help to receive, sort and pack aid at On The Brook, and if you are interested in doing this please email: email@example.com
Fundraisers are always welcome. In the past volunteers have held clothes ‘swishing’ sessions with friends, done car boot sales, jumble sales, held stalls at events, held art or music events, and put on alternative nativities to raise funds. If you can raise money then that would be fantastic and we recommend that you pay the money direct into either the Hope and Aid Direct Ukraine appeal or the Calais emergency fundraiser.
Many of our volunteers have also volunteered abroad, and if you are considering this then IndiGO Volunteers can match you with an organisation needing help. We may also be able to put you in touch with someone who can tell you about their experience of volunteering abroad.
Help unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Somerset
For more information on how you could help, including fostering, helping with language skills, and mentoring, please click here.